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10th Anniversary Story: 2016

May 2022 by Lucia Simmons

Throughout our 10th Anniversary year, we’re sharing 10 stories for the 10 years of Carbon Literacy; one story for each year, shared once per month, in the 10 months leading up to the official anniversary date in October.

Story number five takes us back to 2016, when HOME embarked on a journey to become the world’s first Carbon Literate arts and culture venue.

A Cultural Sector First

HOME is Manchester’s space for film, visual art, theatre and performance, where people are invited to discover new experiences and celebrate stories from Manchester and around the world.

In September 2016, with the support of MAST (Manchester Arts Sustainability Team) and Manchester Metropolitan University, HOME developed the first cultural-sector-specific Carbon Literacy training course. This involved a program of workshops, e-learning and film screenings, delivered in-house at HOME and established as a resource for all MAST member organisations to utilise.

Leading the way in Carbon Literacy training for the cultural sector, HOME demonstrated a commitment to advocate for climate change awareness and implement actions to reduce the environmental impact of their working practices, operations, programming and activities.

Crucially, HOME recognised the key role of their staff in sharing knowledge with, not only one another, but with their volunteers, visitors, stakeholders and neighbours.

HOME Earns Platinum CLO Status

In 2017, HOME incorporated Carbon Literacy into their induction policy, ensuring that all new staff are trained within 6 months of joining the HOME team. By the end of that year, 100% of HOME staff were certified as Carbon Literate.

The training proved to have a positive impact, with HOME seeing increased staff confidence in communicating with peers, family, friends and visitors on environmental and sustainability issues. Actions pledged also fed directly into organisational policy and performance indicators.

HOME’s commitment to embed Carbon Literacy and maintain a low carbon culture across their organisation was recognised in August 2018 when they were accredited as a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO). At the time, HOME was one of only three organisations in the world to have achieved this accreditation.

“Through our Carbon Literacy training we are fostering, connecting and amplifying HOME’s mission with our cultural, local and global community, sharing knowledge, influencing others, and inspiring action in our commitment to collective responsibility, accountability and action.”

Championing Carbon Literacy for Culture and Beyond

HOME’s Carbon Literacy journey didn’t stop inside the walls of their building. Their dedicated, certified Carbon Literacy Trainers not only deliver in-house workshops, but also support other cultural venues and organisations, ensuring HOME is a true advocate for climate change awareness and a leading instigator of low carbon practices.

In 2019, HOME developed a training package to help external organisations kick-start Carbon Literacy training and awareness through skills and action. To date, HOME have independently trained 493 individuals from over 70 organisations across 7 nations – plus another 94 alongside MAST and other partner organisations. This includes their sector neighbours Abandon Normal Devices and Castlefield Gallery as well as members of broader local organisations including Transport for Greater Manchester’s Sustainable Journeys team, British Cycling UK, WSP and Auto Trader.

As part of the C-CHANGE project, HOME trained cultural leads from across Europe to support cities to mobilise their arts sectors to contribute towards climate change action in their regions. The C-CHANGE project is part of the URBACT good practice network and the cohort comprises members of MAST, Manchester City Council and delegates from Wroclaw (Poland), Mantua (Italy), Gelsenkirchen (Germany), Sibenik (Croatia) and Agueda (Portugal).

In 2018 and 2019, HOME hosted Carbon Literacy Pioneers Network Events on behalf of The Carbon Literacy Project, offering their venue as a physical space for all those involved in the delivery of Carbon Literacy, across all sectors, to come together and share ideas and expertise. Also in 2019, HOME were the host of the second-ever Carbon Literacy Awards, where we presented the team with their Platinum CLO Award in person!

Recognition as a CLTO

HOME’s training expertise and advocacy was acknowledged in May 2019 when they were accredited as a Carbon Literacy Training Organisation (CLTO). To date, they remain one of only six organisations to have achieved this prestigious accreditation.

“Being recognised as a CLTO acknowledges the collective effort that the entire HOME team have undertaken to drive change and inspire others. Carbon Literacy enables us to take shared responsibility and fully embed sustainability values and actions across our organisation. Now we’re sharing our learning and experience far and wide to support a creative green future for tomorrow. As a CLTO we are ambassadors for carbon awareness, sharing knowledge and positively influencing others to act. We’d like to invite you to join the journey with us.”

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